|Publication number||US8086398 B2|
|Application number||US 11/923,940|
|Publication date||Dec 27, 2011|
|Filing date||Oct 25, 2007|
|Priority date||Oct 25, 2007|
|Also published as||US8315800, US8620583, US9055402, US9503859, US20090112457, US20120143502, US20130053074, US20140114570, US20150271644, US20170070851|
|Publication number||11923940, 923940, US 8086398 B2, US 8086398B2, US-B2-8086398, US8086398 B2, US8086398B2|
|Inventors||Thomas Sanchez, Piotr Konrad Tysowski|
|Original Assignee||Research In Motion Limited|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (12), Non-Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (54), Classifications (16), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is the first application filed for the present invention.
The present disclosure relates generally to wireless communications devices and, in particular, to wireless communications devices having Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers or other such positioning-determining capabilities.
Some wireless communications devices have Global Positioning System (GPS) chipsets (or external Bluetooth™ dongles) that convert radio-frequency signals received from orbiting GPS satellites into real-time coordinates of longitude and latitude that are typically accurate to within a few meters of the actual current location of the device. This current location information can be transmitted to a recipient as position coordinates (longitude and latitude), as a map, or as a URL to a map that can be downloaded and displayed used a mapping application such as BlackBerry Maps™, Google Maps™ or MapQuest™. To send location information using current technology, however, requires that the user launch a mapping application. This presents an inconvenience for the user who is already engaged within a communication application, e.g. a user who is already composing an e-mail or who is chatting on an instant messenger.
Further features and advantages of the present technology will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in combination with the appended drawings, in which:
It will be noted that throughout the appended drawings, like features are identified by like reference numerals.
The present technology generally provides a method, wireless communications device and computer program product that enable sending of current location information from within an e-mail application, instant messenger or other communication application.
Accordingly, an aspect of the present technology is a method in a wireless communications device for transmitting current location information representing a current location of the wireless communications device. The method entails obtaining the current location information representing the current location of the wireless communications device from within a communication application executing in the wireless communication device, including the current location information in a communication generated from within the communication application, and transmitting the communication that includes the current location information.
Another aspect of the present technology is a computer program product that includes code adapted to perform the steps of the foregoing method when the computer program product is loaded into memory and executed on a processor of a wireless communications device.
Yet another aspect of the present technology is a wireless communications device for sending current location information representing a current location of the device. The device has a GPS chipset for receiving GPS signals and for generating the current location information representing the current location of the device, a memory operatively connected to a processor for storing and executing a communication application configured to generate a communication and to cause the device to obtain current location information from the GPS chipset, and a radiofrequency transmitter for transmitting the current location information as part of the communication generated from within the communication application.
The details and particulars of these aspects of the technology will now be described below, by way of example, with reference to the attached drawings.
As further depicted in
At step 16, the communication application includes the current location information in a communication (e.g. email message or instant message) generated from within the communication application. The communication can be not only an e-mail message or instant message, but also an SMS, MMS or PIN message. The current location information can be included as an attachment (e.g. a bitmap (.bmp) or JPEG (.jpg) of the mapped location). The current location information can also be included by embedding or inserting the information as text or graphics directly within the body of the communication (e.g. as text of the coordinates or street address that might take the form, for example, of a pre-formatted message such as “My current location at [insert timestamp] is [insert longitude and latitude] which corresponds to [insert street address] inserted at the bottom of the text portion of the portion. The user can choose to include or suppress the time of day. Time information (that gives the time at which the GPS fix was obtained) is useful for the recipient in assessing how fresh or stale the current position information actually is. Other user options could enable the user to format its position, font, size, etc, or to customize the message so that it includes the user's name or suppresses the position coordinates if the street address can be determined by a reverse lookup technique (“reverse geocoding”).
At step 18, the communication that includes the current location information is transmitted. As noted above, the communication can be an e-mail, instant message, SMS, MMS or PIN message. The communication that includes the current location information thus informs the recipient of the user's current location without requiring that the user separately activate a mapping application, GPS manager or other location-based application to send the location information.
Subsequently, as shown in the method flow of
The foregoing method steps can be implemented as coded instructions in a computer program product. In other words, the computer program product is a computer-readable medium upon which software code is recorded to perform the foregoing steps when the computer program product is loaded into memory and executed on the microprocessor of the wireless communications device.
This novel method is preferably implemented on a wireless communications device such as the BlackBerry® by Research in Motion Limited (or on other wireless handhelds, cellular phones, wireless-enabled laptops or wireless-enabled PDAs).
Where a distinction is to be made between attaching and inserting, a more generic feature label such “Include Location”, “Send Location”, “Provide Location”, “Share Location”, etc., may be used. In that case, the menu choice “Include Location” (or Send/Provide/Share Location) may be further bifurcated or subdivided into further sub-choices as to whether to “Attach Location” (as an actual attachment) or whether to “Insert Location” by embedding the location directly within the body of the message. Further options could be presented to allow the user to pick the actual format of the current location information, i.e. whether to send coordinates, a pre-generated map (e.g. a bitmap, JPEG, etc.) or a hyperlinked URL to enable the recipient to download the map by simply clicking on the hyperlinked URL. These could be presented as further branches in the menu or alternatively as configurable settings in an options page (to be discussed in greater detail below with regard to
The foregoing examples demonstrate a number of aspects of this technology but it should be understood that the user need not be within an email application to make use of this technology since any other communication application can be used instead, for example, instant messenger, SMS, MMS or PIN messaging.
The options page 400 may also enable the user to include the location information in one or more of a variety of different formats. For example, the options page 400 shown in this particular example has a plurality of check boxes to enable the user to configure the communication application to attach the map (for example, either as a bitmap or JPEG), to insert coordinates (in terms of longitude and latitude), to insert an address obtained using reverse geocoding (reverse lookup), to insert a name (person, business, organization or establishment) associated with the address, again if available from reverse geocoding), and/or to insert a hyperlinked URL to enable the recipient of the communication to download a map showing the current location of the device. Note that the user can optionally check more than one check box, so that the user configures the application to send current location information in more than one format. For example, the user could configure the application to attach a map and also send the street address embedded as text within the body of the message when the “Attach Location” feature is triggered.
As further depicted in
In another implementation of this technology, the user can trigger the generation and sending of a message while engaged in a voice call by exploiting the separate voice and data channels on the wireless communications device. This implementation could, for example, use a dedicated hotkey (such as the side button shown in the preceding figures or any other key or combination of keys) to launch an application that automatically generates a message (e.g. an e-mail, SMS, MMS or the like) by auto-populating the e-mail address from the user's address book by correlating the telephone number of the voice call underway with a particular contact in the address book and then pulling the e-mail address associated with that phone number (or contact) into the e-mail recipient's field. The application would then, for example, attach or embed into the e-mail or other datagram-based message the current location information which would then be transmitted automatically via the device's wireless transceiver to the party with whom the user is talking (thereby enabling the recipient to receive the current location information). Because of the separate voice and data channels, the call would continue unaffected by the transmission of the location information. This implementation would be useful in a number of situations, such as, for example, the scenario where two individuals are talking on their wireless devices and one wishes to send a map of his current location to the other without having to interrupt the telephone discussion.
In yet another implementation, the communication application can be further configured to enable the user to transmit the current location information as well as recent path information delineating a recent path taken by the user, the recent path information being determined based on recent location fixes for the device. In certain cases, the user may wish to send to the recipient not just his or her current location but also the route or path that he or she has taken. This feature would thus enable user to provide the path or route plotted out on a map (or alternatively a set of waypoints in coordinate form or in street address form). Alternatively, the map could have bubble captions showing the addresses of the various waypoints along the route.
Although GPS (Global Positioning System) represents the preferred manner of obtaining location information for a mobile device, it should be appreciated that other techniques could be used in lieu of, or in addition to, GPS coordinates. The location of the device can be determined using triangulation of signals from in-range base towers, such as used for Wireless E911. Wireless Enhanced 911 services enable a cell phone or other wireless device to be located geographically using radiolocation techniques such as (i) angle of arrival (AOA) which entails locating the caller at the point where signals from two towers intersect; (ii) time difference of arrival (TDOA), which uses multilateration like GPS, except that the networks determine the time difference and therefore the distance from each tower; and (iii) location signature, which uses “fingerprinting” to store and recall patterns (such as multipath) which mobile phone signals exhibit at different locations in each cell. Coarser location information can be obtained not only be triangulating the device's position based on nearby cell towers but also based on nearby Wi-Fi access points via the WLAN radio.
This new technology has been described in terms of specific implementations and configurations which are intended to be exemplary only. The scope of the exclusive right sought by the Applicant is therefore intended to be limited solely by the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||701/207, 701/208, 701/213, 701/201|
|Cooperative Classification||H04L51/08, H04W4/025, G01S19/13, H04W4/02, H04W4/12, G06F3/04847, G06F3/04842, G01C11/34, G01C21/30|
|European Classification||G01C21/30, G01C11/34|
|Jan 14, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: RESEARCH IN MOTION LIMITED, ONTARIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SANCHEZ, THOMAS;TYSOWSKI, PIOTR KONRAD;REEL/FRAME:020361/0214;SIGNING DATES FROM 20071120 TO 20071213
Owner name: RESEARCH IN MOTION LIMITED, ONTARIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SANCHEZ, THOMAS;TYSOWSKI, PIOTR KONRAD;SIGNING DATES FROM 20071120 TO 20071213;REEL/FRAME:020361/0214
|Jan 31, 2012||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Feb 18, 2015||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BLACKBERRY LIMITED, ONTARIO
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:RESEARCH IN MOTION LIMITED;REEL/FRAME:035021/0768
Effective date: 20130709
|Jun 29, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4